It is symptomatic of the national condition of the United States that the worst humiliation ever suffered by it as a nation, and by a US president personally, passed almost without comment last week. I refer to the November 20 announcement at a summit meeting in Phnom Penh that 15 Asian nations, comprising half the world's population, would form a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership excluding the United States.
President Barack Obama attended the summit to sell a US-based Trans-Pacific Partnership excluding China. He didn't. The American led-partnership became a party to which no-one came.
Instead, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, plus China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, will form a club and leave out the United States. As 3 billion Asians become prosperous, interest fades in the prospective contribution of 300 million Americans - especially when those Americans decline to take risks on new technologies. America's great economic strength, namely its capacity to innovate, exists mainly in memory four years after the 2008 economic crisis
[Dawn] IF certain sections of the media were still attempting to justify the TTP's agenda or divert attention from it, the attempt on television anchor Hamid Mir's life should leave no journalist or media outlet with any excuse to continue serving as apologists for the Pak Taliban. The TTP's claim that it was behind the attack is not solid proof, but in the absence of any denials from the group, one can only take it at face value. And so it appears the Taliban have reached new levels of boldness when it comes to targeting the media. Going beyond just sending personal threats, which they have done with other journalists in the past, this time they have publicly announced that a particular journalist is a target -- and that they plan to continue targeting him. The same unrepentant message of defiance came through recently when the TTP claimed the attack on Malala Yousufzai and some sectarian attacks: they have said they will continue trying to kill the young girl and Shias.
In the case of the media in particular, the Pak Taliban's antagonism is alarming because it underscores that they cannot stomach any criticism. Simply speaking out against them is a crime in their eyes, one for which the only punishment is death. As such, they stand against everything that Pakistain's hard-won media freedom represents. On a practical level, intelligence agencies must ensure that journalists are made aware of any threats to their lives; while the odd interior ministry notification is issued from time to time, there are instances of direct threats not having been communicated to the journalists they are made against. But more importantly, recent events should serve as a red flag for journalists -- and politicians -- who support, defend or excuse the TTP's actions that they do so at the cost of their own freedom of expression.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.